Friday, December 31, 2010

Travelog 2010 - Kuala Trengganu (Last Post of 2010)

It is the New Year again. 2010 is coming to an end and we welcome 2011 in a few hours. Me and my whole family are currently in Kuala Trengganu as part of Phase 2 of our cuti-cuti Malaysia 2010. It is also our youngest daughter, Nurhani's, birthday.

We arrived yesterday after spending a night in Cherating but cannot travel much as my Naza Ria has other plans. It started springing a leak of engine oil which I realized along the way from Cherating. We stopped at a workshop in Dungun but was not able to rectify it as it requires about half a day work. I continued my journey with 8 liters of engine oil to top up along the way. I have used up 4 liters just for the journey from Dungun and some traveling within Kuala Trengganu.

As it is Friday today, no workshop is open. So I have to wait till tomorrow. Hopefully the problem can be resolved by mid-day so we can start our journey back to KL. I'm going to miss the wedding of Zahari's daughter and a neighbour's son's engagement.

We can plan but He(Allah swt) is the Master Planner and we have to believe that His plans are the best for us. However, most of the times, we fail to realize and appreciate His plans for us and start assigning blame to everyone.

This will be the last post for 2010. Here's hoping that 2011 will be more productive for This Place. Happy Birthday Hani and Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Travelog 2010 - Preamble

I have always wanted to travel the country at my leisure, with my whole family. It was actually a tough assignment meeting the 3 basic requirements:

1. Travel the whole country
2. At leisure
3. With my whole family

After a rather tough year a work, I decided to force myself into doing this in 2010 and started to plan things in my mind as early as Hari Raya this year though I did not tell anybody yet.

I started with telling my boss that I will away from the office from mid December until early 2011. I then told my family about my plans and asked them to prepare an itinerary that will take us throughout Peninsular Malaysia for about two weeks. It was supposed to be a "free and easy" trip. So, no advance booking of accommodation and the like which will forced us to reach a certain place at a certain time.

To make the trip more meaningful, I told them that we will try to stop, pray and take photos at as many mosques as possible, visit a few orphanages, old folks homes and religious schools besides visiting the normal tourist attractions.

We are almost set when my eldest daughter, Nurlina, told us that she only managed to get a week's leave instead of the two she applied for. So, the first change of plans. Then we realised that we have received so many wedding invitations on every weekend in December. Some are from our close neighbours which we cannot afford to skip. So, we decided to break our travels into two phases, divided by the weekend where we can attend some weddings and also pick up Nurlina for the second phase.

We are now all set.

We left our house for the first phase on Sunday, 19th December, after attending a wedding reception and headed for Ipoh. Actually, I myself was not sure where we will be putting up the night when we left the house. There was no fixed plans, just a list giving phone numbers of hotels and addresses of orphanages in the states of Perak, Kedah, Perlis, Penang and Selangor.

This posting is the preamble to a series of postings (InsyaAllah) about our trip which took place in the last 12 days of 2010.

Monday, December 27, 2010

AFF Cup Final - First Leg

Sudah lama saya tidak menonton bola yang melibatkan Malaysia secara langsung di Stadium, entah berapa tahun saya pun tak ingat. Hari ini saya bersama anak-anak saya, Ahmad Afiq dan Ahmad Aizat telah pergi ke Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil untuk menonton permainan akhir pertama Piala AFF. Sebenarnya Ahmad Afiq telah sejak perlawanan separuh akhir menentang Vietnam mengajak saya untuk ke stadium. Memandang kan ini perlawanan akhir, saya pun bersetuju.

Kami bertolak agak awal dari rumah, sekitar 5:30 petang dan meletakkan kereta di Jalan TAR KL untuk menaiki STAR LRT ke Bukit Jalil. Pada waktu itu pun LRT sudah sesak membuat kami berpeluh sebelum sampai di stadium. Kami terus mencari tempat duduk di stadium yang telah lebih 50% dipenuhi peminat bola. Ramai juga penyokong Indonesia. Mereka ditempatkan berasingan dengan penonton Malaysia. Sebelum permainan bermula kami solat maghrib secara berselerak di sekitar stadium dan tidak di surau. Alhamdullillah ramai juga yang bersolat, tetapi saya rasa lebh ramai yang tidak bersolat.

Permainan bermula tepat pukul 8:00 malam. Malaysia bermain baik sekali walaupun diwakili oleh pemain-pemain muda yang nyata kurang pengalaman diperingkat antarabangsa. Tidak seperti pasukan Malaysia beberapa tahun yang lalu pasukan ini bijak mengawal permainan. Walaupun Malaysia berjaya mencipta beberapa peluang, separuh masa pertama tamat dengan tiada jaringan.

Diseparuh masa kedua Malaysia terus mengawal permainan. Tetapi dalam satu counter attack, Indonesia telah berjaya memasukkan bola dalam gol Malaysia tetapi tidak dikira kerana ada pemain Indonesia yang off-side. Setelah kira-kira 15 minit permainan separuh masa kedua, pengadil menghentikan permainan dan seolah-olah mahu meninggalkan padang. Permainan terhenti buat beberapa minit. Akhirnya permainan diteruskan. Tidak lama kemudian skrin besar di stadium menyiarkan rayuan supaya penonton tidak menggunakan lampu laser yang boleh mengganggu pemain. Jika tidak permainan boleh di tangguhkan.

Selepas permainan diteruskan Malaysia seolah-olah mendapat semangat baru dan berjaya menjaringkan tiga gol tanpa balas. Walaupun pemain Malaysia dipadang bermain dengan baik, terdapat segelintir penonton yang berkelakuan buruk dan tidak matang. Mereka mencampak barang-barang ke padang dan juga membakar mercun. Ada yang sampai kepadang dan boleh mengganggu permainan. Pasukan polis simpanan (FRU) cuma melihat dan mengambil gambar.

Akhirnya Malaysia menang 3 gol tanpa balas. Permainan timbal balaas akan diadakan di Jakarta pada hari Rabu nanti.